Click for homepage
Algemene Inlichtingen- en Veiligheidsdienst

AIVD — short for Algemene Inlichtingen- en Veiligheidsdienst (General Intelligence and Security Service) — is the civil intelligence and security agency of the Netherlands, tasked with domestic, foreign and signals intelligence and protecting national security. The name AIVD was introduced in 2002 after its predecessor – Binnenlandse Veiligheidsdienst (BVD) (Domestic Security Service) – had taken over the tasks of the Inlichtingendienst Buitenland (IDB) (Foreign Intelligence Service).

Although the history of intelligence services in the Netherlands dates back to before World War I (1913), the AIVD lists 29 May 1945 as its official birthday, as that is the day on which — at the end of World War II — the Temporary Military Authority established the BNV — Bureau Nationale Veiligheid (National Security Bureau), a year later renamed CVDCentrale Veiligheidsdienst. In 1949, the agency was renamed BVD and finally in 2002 AIVD, the name that is still used today.

The AIVD resides under the Dutch Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations [1]. It has approx. 2000 employees (2019) and an annual budget of EUR 249 million (2018). The military counterpart of the AIVD is the MIVD – the Military Intelligence and Security Service. AIVD and MIVD are both partners in the Joint Sigint Cyber Unit (JSCU), that was established in 2014.

Over the years, the AIVD has gathered an impressive collection of spy and crypto-related equipment, some of which are on display throughout the AIVD headquarters in Zoetermeer (Netherlands). Unfortunately, these items can not be viewed by the general public. A small selection of these items is on public display though, in the AIVD's online museum.

AIVD museum items on this website
Some of the objects in the AIVD Museum – or similar ones – are also available on this website:

Dead Letter Box (Dutch: dode brievenbus)
Concealment Devices, Stashes and Dead Drops (Dutch: trapcontainer)
Concealed wind-up observation camera
Miniature wire and tape recorders
Travel kit with concealment area for passport and OTP (Dutch: reisnecessaires)
Enigma cipher machine
Swiss Tessina camera hidden inside a cigarette pack
Hidden microphones
Transmitter with burst encoder (Dutch: snelzender)
Ecolex-II unbreakable cipher machine
Telefunken spy radio set FS-5000, used by the clandestine stay-behind organisation O&I
 Visit the AIVD Museum

Subject to the governing laws (Wiv - Art.8:2), the taks of the AIVD have been defined as follows, each named after the corresponding label in the forementioned law:

  1. Domestic Intelligence
  2. Background checks
  3. Security
  4. Foreign Intelligence
  5. Risk and threat analysis
For the collection of intelligence, the AIVD uses the following methods, each of which is bound by the Intelligence and Security Law (Wiv – Wet op de inclichtingen- en veiligheidsdiensten):

  • Observations and surveillance
  • Covert operations
  • Computer hacking
  • Telephone or internet tapping
  • Untargeted communications interception and analysis
  • Traffic analysis (metadata)
In the past, the AIVD had 9 units and 2 business units, but following a reorganisation in 2014, it now has a Central Staff and three Directorates, effective from 1 January 2015:

  1. Intelligence
  2. Operations
  3. Investigations
1. Intelligence
This directorate is responsible for processing and analysing the information gathered by the Operations Directorate, and producing reports from it. The directorate has several desks, each of which covers a specific theme or geographic area.

2. Operations
This directorate is responsible for all operational activities and for the actual gathering of information from a variety of sources, for further processing by the Intelligence Directorate. It has the following divisions:

3. Investigations
This directorate is responsible for the internal business operations, but also for carrying out security investigations into the background of people in trusted and security jobs. The directorate comprises the following divisions:

  • Background checks (business unit)
  • ICT
  • Services
Resilience Unit

Nationaal Bureau voor Verbindingsbeveiliging (NBV) — the National Bureau for Communications Security — is the Netherlands National Communications Security Agency (NLNCSA), responsible for the communi­cations security of the Dutch Goverment and for advising potential users on communications and ICT security. It is located at the AIVD headquarters.

The NBV was established in 1960 as the successor to the Code Coordination Bureau (CCB), which in turn was established shortly after WWII, in 1945. It was the executive organ of the Nationale Verbindings­beveiligings­raad (NVBR) — the National Communications Security Council — and was initially an independent entity under the Dutch Foreign Ministry. During the course of 1999, the NBV became part of the Internal Security Service (BVD), followed in 2000 by a relocation of the workforce from The Hague to Leidschendam, where the BVD was located at the time.

During the course of 2023, the NBV (NL-NCSA) became a department within the AIVD's Resilience Unit (Dutch: Unit Weerbaarheid), which in turn is part of the Intelligence Division.

 NBV website
 List of NBV approved products (off-site)

Classification levels
Below are the Dutch classification levels for information security – in The Netherlands known as Rubricering – along with their English equivalents. Note that information from the Dutch Govern­ment itself is prefixed with 'Stg.', which means Staatsgeheim (State Secret) [9].

  • Stg. Zeer Geheim
    Top Secret
  • Stg. Geheim
  • Stg. Confidentieel, Vertrouwelijk
  • Departementaal vertrouwelijk, Dienstgeheim
  • Ongebrubriceerd
The Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations is responsible for the AIVD. Oversight is provided by three bodies:

TIB   Toetsingscommissie Inzet Bevoegdheden
Preemptive review board for the use of special powers by intelligence services, appointed by the Second Chamber of the States General.
CTIVD   Commissie van Toezicht op de Inlichtingen- en Veiligheidsdiensten
Retrospective oversight committe, appointed by the Second Chamber of the States General.
CIVD   Commissie voor de Inlichtingen- en Veiligheidsdiensten
Committee for the Intelligence and Security Services, consisting of the leaders of all political parties represented in the Second Chamber of the States General. 1
  1. Until 2009, the Socialist Party (SP) was not (and did not want to be) part of the CIVD.

The predecessor of all Dutch intelligence services was GS-III – section III of the General Staff of the Army – which was established in 1913, just before the outbreak of World War I (WWI). During the interbellum – from 1919 to the outbreak of World War II (WWII) in 1940 – it was a combined civil and military intelligence service, operating under the name CI – Centrale Inlichtingendienst (Central Intelligence Service). Nevertheless, in literature the CI is often still identified as GS-III.

The work of the CI was terminated by the outbreak of WWII, at which time the Dutch Government-in-Exile in London established the CID – Centrale Inlichtingendienst (Central Intelligence Service), which was renamed BI – Bureau Inlichtingen (Intelligence Bureau) – in 1942. For the remainder of the war, the BI worked closely together with the British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS, now: MI6). The diagram below shows the complex history of the Dutch intelligence services, in which the civil intelligence services are shown in yellow, and their military counterparts in blue.

In 1942, the Netherlands Forces Intelligence Service (NEFIS) was established in Australia – in 1948 renamed Centrale Militaire Inlichtingendienst (CMI) (Central Military Intelligence Service). The CMI was eventually dissolved in 1950, after the declaration of independence of the Dutch East Indies.

After World War II, the BI was transformed into the short-lived BNV — Bureau Nationale Veiligheid (National Security Bureau) — which became the CVD – Centrale Veiligheidsdienst (Central Security Service) in 1946. At the same time, a separate foreign intelligence service was established, which became known as Buitenlandse Inlichtingendienst, or BID, whilst the armed forces (Navy, Army, and Air Force) each established its own service, known as MARID, LAMID and LUID respectively.

The CVD was renamed BVD – Binnenlandse Veiligheidsdienst (Domestic Security Service) in 1949, and would keep that name for the next 53 years. In 1988, the three military intelligence services were merged into the MID – Militare Inlichtingen­dienst (Military Intelligence Service), and in 1994, after internal turmoil, the tasks of the foreign intelligence service IDB (formerly: BID), were taken over by the BVD. As a result, the BVD became responsible for domestic and foreign intelligence.

In 2002, after passing the new Intelligence and Security Act (Wiv), 1 the BVD was renamed AIVD – Algemene Inlichtingen en Veiligheidsdienst (General Intelligence and Security Service), whilst it military counterpart MID was renamed MIVD – Militaire Inlichtingen en Veiligheidsdienst (Military Intelligence and Security Service). Although AIVD and MIVD have different responsibilities, they work together in a number of fields – such as in the Joint Sigint Cyber Unit (JSCU) – which is now located at the AIVD premises.

In 2015 it was decided to move both services to a new – common – premises by 2022, but in July 2019 it was announced that this has been postponed until 2029 [2].

  1. Wiv = Wet op de Inlichtingen- en Veiligheidsdiensten. (Intelligence and Security Service Act).

  • 1949
    Louis Einthoven
  • 1961
    Koos Sinninghe Damsté
  • 1967
    Andries Kuipers
  • 1977
    Pieter de Haan
  • 1986
    Aart Blom
  • 1988
    Arthur Docters van Leeuwen
  • 1995
    Nico Buis
  • 1997
    Sybrand van Hulst
  • 2002
    Sybrand van Hulst
  • 2007
    Gerard Bouman
  • 2011
    Rob Bertholee
  • 2018
    Dick Schoof
  • 2020
    Erik Akerboom
For many years, the logo shown below at the centre has been the coat of arms of the AIVD. It is a stylised form of the coat of arms of its predecessor, the BVD (left), which also included the Latin text Per Undas Adversas (against the flow). It pictures three fish swimming against the flow.


Several versions have existed. In 2015, following a government-wide style harmonisation, it was replaced with the rather uninspiring blue logo with the Dutch coat of arms shown at the right. Nevertheless, the yellow/blue coat of arms remains in use on official documents to this day.

  1. Het PQC-migratie handboek
    TNO, CWI, AIVD, March 2023 (Dutch).
  1. Louis Einthoven, Tegen de stroom in...
    Apeldoorn 1974.

  2. Frans Kluiters, De Nederlandse Inlichtingen- en Veiligheidsdiensten
    Den Haag 1993. Supplement: 1995.

  3. Dick Engelen, Geschiedenis van de Binnenlandse Veiligheidsdienst
    ISBN 9012082501. Den Haag 1995.

  4. Chris Vos, De Geheime Dienst: verhalen over de BVD
    ISBN 9085061814 (with DVD). 2005.

  5. Dick Engelen, Frontdienst: De BVD in de Koude Oorlog
    Amsterdam 2007.

  6. Eleni Braat, Van oude jongens, de dingen die voorbij gaan...
    A social history of the Domestic Security Service (BVD) (Dutch).
    ISBN 978-90-9027081-4. Internal publication, Zoetermeer, May 2012.
  1. Wikipedia, General Intelligence and Security Service
    Retrieved August 2019.  Dutch version

  2. NOS, AIVD en MIVD verhuizen zeven jaar later dan gepland
    Website:, 1 July 2019.

  3. AIVD, Tijdlijn van de AIVD
    Retrieved August 2019.

  4. Wikipedia, Binnenlandse Veiligheidsdienst
    Retrieved August 2019.  Dutch version

  5. S.J. van Hulst, Op weg naar een Algemene Inlichtingen- en Veiligheidsdienst
    Militaire Spectator, Issue 170, November 2001. pp. 587 — 592

  6. Wikipedia, Militaire Inlichtingendienst (Nederland)
    Retrieved April 2020.

  7. Nationaal Veiligheidsarchief /
    Buro Jansen & Janssen. Retrieved April 2020.

  8. Paul Huz, Afluisterpraktijken
    Homow-Universaliz, 13 June 2007.

  9. Wikipedia (Netherlands), Geclassificeerde informatie
    Visited 28 Oct 2022.  English version
Further information
Any links shown in red are currently unavailable. If you like the information on this website, why not make a donation?
© Crypto Museum. Created: Saturday 24 August 2019. Last changed: Tuesday, 16 April 2024 - 07:49 CET.
Click for homepage